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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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31 - 45 of 209
Relationship-based practice and digital technology in child and family social work: learning from practice during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ruth Copson; Anne M. Murphy; Laura Cook (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
Vital services provided by social workers to children in care or on the edge of care were largely delivered “online” during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper explores the potential impact of these changes on vulnerable children and their families. Relationship-based practice is integral to social work and the shift to digital communication during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to accelerated practice changes and implications for relationship building both with and between service users. Going forward, social workers and other professionals are likely to move to an increasingly hybrid model of communication, combining both digital and face-to-face methods. This article identifies the impact of digital communication on relationships in professional practice, drawing on three studies of digital communication in the UK carried out at the University of East Anglia.
Covid-19, social restrictions, and mental distress among young people: a UK longitudinal, population-based study

Gemma Knowles; Charlotte Gayer-Anderson; Alice Turner (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Adolescence is a critical period for social and emotional development. This study sought to examine the impacts of Covid-19 and related social restrictions and school closures on adolescent mental health, particularly among disadvantaged, marginalised, and vulnerable groups. It analysed four waves of data – 3 pre-Covid-19 (2016–2019) and 1 mid-Covid-19 (May–Aug 2020; n, 1074; 12–18 years old, >80% minority ethnic groups, 25% free school meals) from REACH (Resilience, Ethnicity, and AdolesCent Mental Health), an adolescent cohort based in inner-London, United Kingdom. Mental health was assessed using validated measures at each time point. The study estimated temporal trends in mental distress and examined variations in changes in distress, pre- to mid-Covid-19, by social group, and by pre- and mid-pandemic risks.

Online peer support training to promote adolescents’ emotional support skills, mental health and agency during COVID-19: randomised controlled trial and qualitative evaluation

Gabriela Pavarini; Tessa Reardon; Anja Hollowell (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Adolescents often look to their peers for emotional support, so it is critical that they are prepared to take on a supportive role, especially during a health crisis. Using a randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN99248812, 28/05/2020), this study tested the short-term efficacy of an online training programme to equip young people with skills to support to their peers’ mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, one-hundred UK adolescents (aged 16–18) recruited through social media were randomly allocated (1:1) to immediate 5-day peer support training or a wait-list, via an independently generated allocation sequence. Primary outcomes were indicators of ability to help others (motivation, perceived skills, frequency of help provided, compassion to others and connectedness to peers). Secondary outcomes included emotional symptoms, mental wellbeing, and indicators of agency (civic engagement and self-efficacy).
Happier during lockdown: a descriptive analysis of self-reported wellbeing in 17,000 UK school students during Covid-19 lockdown

Emma Soneson; Stephen Puntis; Nikki Chapman (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Relatively little research has focused on children and young people (CYP) whose mental health and wellbeing improved during Covid-19 lockdown measures. This study aimed to (1) determine the proportion of CYP who self-reported improvement in their mental wellbeing during the first Covid-19 lockdown and (2) describe the characteristics of this group in relation to their peers. It conducted a descriptive analysis of data from the 2020 OxWell Student Survey, a self-report, cross-sectional survey of English CYP. A total of 16,940 CYP primarily aged 8–18 years reported on change in mental wellbeing during lockdown. The study characterised these CYP in terms of school, home, relational, and lifestyle factors as well as feelings about returning to school.
Rate and severity of radiological features of physical abuse in children during the first UK-wide COVID-19 enforced national lockdown

Stavros Stivaros; Michael Paddock; Azita Rajai (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

This paper aims to assess the number, type and outcome of radiological investigations for children presenting to hospital with suspected physical abuse (SPA; including abusive head trauma) during the first national COVID-19 enforced lockdown compared with the prelockdown period. Rate and severity of radiological features of physical abuse in children during the first UK-wide COVID-19 enforced national lockdown.

Young people’s experiences of COVID-19 messaging at the start of the UK lockdown: lessons for positive engagement and information sharing

Sofia T. Strömmer; Divya Sivaramakrishnan; Sarah C. Shaw (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

To reduce COVID-19 infection rates during the initial stages of the pandemic, the UK Government mandated a strict period of restriction on freedom of movement or ‘lockdown’. For young people, closure of schools and higher education institutions and social distancing rules may have been particularly challenging, coming at a critical time in their lives for social and emotional development. This study explored young people’s experiences of the UK Government’s initial response to the pandemic and related government messaging. This qualitative study combines data from research groups at the University of Southampton, University of Edinburgh and University College London. Thirty-six online focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 150 young people (Southampton: n = 69; FGD = 7; Edinburgh: n = 41; FGD = 5; UCL: n = 40; FGD = 24). Thematic analysis was conducted to explore how young people viewed the government’s response and messaging and to develop recommendations for how to best involve young people in addressing similar crises in the future.

Uptake of infant and preschool immunisations in Scotland and England during the COVID-19 pandemic: an observational study of routinely collected data

Fiona McQuaid; Rachel Mulholland; Yuma Sangpang Rai (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Plos Medicine

In 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown control measures threatened to disrupt routine childhood immunisation programmes with early reports suggesting uptake would fall. In response, public health bodies in Scotland and England collected national data for childhood immunisations on a weekly or monthly basis to allow for rapid analysis of trends. The aim of this study was to use these data to assess the impact of different phases of the pandemic on infant and preschool immunisation uptake rates. This study conducted an observational study using routinely collected data for the year prior to the pandemic (2019) and immediately before (22 January to March 2020), during (23 March to 26 July), and after (27 July to 4 October) the first UK “lockdown”. Data were obtained for Scotland from the Public Health Scotland “COVID19 wider impacts on the health care system” dashboard and for England from ImmForm.

COVID-19: impact on pediatric palliative care

Hannah May Scott; Lucy Coombes; Debbie Braybrook (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Children and young people (CYP) with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions (LLLTC) and their families are potentially vulnerable during COVID-19 lockdowns due to pre-existing high clinical support needs and social participation limitations. This paper aims to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns on this population. Sub-analysis of an emergent COVID-19 related theme from a larger semi-structured interview study investigating priority pediatric palliative care outcomes. 106 UK-wide purposively-sampled CYP with LLLTC, parent/carers, siblings, health professionals and commissioners.
COVID-19 mitigation measures in primary schools and association with infection and school staff wellbeing: an observational survey linked with routine data in Wales, UK

Emily Marchant; Lucy Griffiths; Tom Crick (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Plos One

School-based COVID-19 mitigation strategies have greatly impacted the primary school day (children aged 3–11) including: wearing face coverings, two metre distancing, no mixing of children, and no breakfast clubs or extra-curricular activities. This study examines these mitigation measures and association with COVID-19 infection, respiratory infection, and school staff wellbeing between October to December 2020 in Wales, UK. A school staff survey captured self-reported COVID-19 mitigation measures in the school, participant anxiety and depression, and open-text responses regarding experiences of teaching and implementing measures. These survey responses were linked to national-scale COVID-19 test results data to examine association of measures in the school and the likelihood of a positive (staff or pupil) COVID-19 case in the school (clustered by school, adjusted for school size and free school meals using logistic regression). Linkage was conducted through the SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) Databank.

Adaptive school grounds design in response to COVID-19: Findings from six primary schools in South East England

Alison Quinn; Alessio Russo

Published: February 2022   Journal: Building and Environment
The purpose of this research is to look at how primary schools in England have adapted their outdoor spaces in the context of COVID-19 rules and guidelines to meet the needs of students returning from school closures and national lockdown of Spring/Summer 2020, how that impacted play and learning value of their grounds, and to consider how these findings might inform future school grounds design. Thus, this study used a mixed-method approach that included qualitative interviews with representatives from six primary schools (three in rural and three in urban areas), quantitative desk research, and in-person site surveys. It used literature-based scoring criteria to quantify changes in the playground before and after the implementation of COVID-19 measures.
‘You’re just there, alone in your room with your thoughts’: a qualitative study about the psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among young people living in the UK

Alison R. McKinlay; Tom May; Jo Dawes (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: BMJ Open

Adolescents and young adults have been greatly affected by quarantine measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, but little is understood about how restrictions have affected their well-being, mental health, and social life. This study therefore aimed to learn more about how UK quarantine measures affected the social lives, mental health and well-being of adolescents and young adults. It is a qualitative interview study. The data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis, with particular attention paid to contextual factors (such as age, gender, ethnicity and health status) when analysing each individual transcript. Data collection took place remotely across the UK via audio or video call, between June 2020 and January 2021.

Adolescent carers’ psychological symptoms and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal study using data from the UK millennium cohort study

Miharu Nakanishi; Marcus Richards; Daniel Stanyon (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescent carers in the UK may have experienced psychological distress due to increased caring burden and loss of a break from their caring role. This study investigated longitudinal association between adolescents’ caring status and mental health outcomes from 2018/2019 to February–March 2021. The participants (n = 3,927) answered mental health questions in both the Millennium Cohort Study sweep 7 survey (age 17 years in 2018/2019) and at least one of three waves of the COVID-19 survey from May 2020 to February–March 2021. Caring status at the age of 17 years was assessed using a single question regarding whether the participant regularly looked after anyone who needed care, without being paid. Outcome measures were psychological symptoms, measured using the Kessler Distress Scale, and mental well-being, measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale.

Physical and mental health 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection (long COVID) among adolescents in England (CLoCk): a national matched cohort study

Terence Stephenson; Snehal M. Pinto Pereira; Roz Shafran (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

This study describes post-COVID symptomatology in a non-hospitalised, national sample of adolescents aged 11–17 years with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with matched adolescents with negative PCR status. In this national cohort study, adolescents aged 11–17 years from the Public Health England database who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between January and March, 2021, were matched by month of test, age, sex, and geographical region to adolescents who tested negative. 3 months after testing, a subsample of adolescents were contacted to complete a detailed questionnaire, which collected data on demographics and their physical and mental health at the time of PCR testing (retrospectively) and at the time of completing the questionnaire (prospectively).

Ordinary magic in extraordinary circumstances: factors associated with positive mental health outcomes for early adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Emma Ashworth; David W. Putwain; Shane McLoughlin (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Adversity and Resilience Science
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have had a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many people worldwide, but this may have been particularly challenging for adolescents. However, there is a paucity of research examining the factors associated with good mental health during this time. The aim of the current study was to identify the protective factors amongst early adolescents in the UK that were associated with better mental health outcomes (internalising and externalising difficulties, and wellbeing) during the first national COVID-19 lockdown. Between September and December 2020, 290 11–14 year olds across North West England completed an online survey consisting of several measures pertaining to experiences of lockdown, and mental health and wellbeing.
Sleep in the time of COVID-19: findings from 17000 school-aged children and adolescents in the UK during the first national lockdown

Gaby Illingworth; Karen L. Mansfield; Colin A. Espie (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: SLEEP Advances

Sleep is essential to young people’s wellbeing, yet may be constricted by the adolescent delayed sleep phase coupled with school start times. COVID-19 restrictions caused major disruptions to everyday routines, including partial school closures. This study set out to understand changes in students’ self-reported sleep quality, and associations with mental wellbeing and interpersonal functioning, during these restrictions. The OxWell school survey—a cross-sectional online survey—collected data from 18 642 children and adolescents (aged 8–19 years, 60% female, school year 4–13) from 230 schools in southern England, in June–July 2020. Participants completed self-report measures of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on sleep quality, happiness, and social relationships. Sleep timing was compared with data collected from 4222 young people in 2019.

31 - 45 of 209

UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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